In our class we have a full class inquiry running titled Looking Closely. Within the looking closely lens, we have looked at seeds, our pond, our forest and the natural environment. We will continue to compare and contrast the forest with the pond as the seasons change. We will also continue to looking closely at the seeds in our foods.
During our learning center times a few small group inquiries have emerged. Two students have sent in videos for their show and share times. One video demonstrated an entire Disney monorail system and the other was a Duplo train with many animals. Trains started to become a discussion item in class. During open choice time, one group designed a train out of the big Gorilla building blocks. They acted out train rides and asked to save their structure. I listened in as they played and recorded some of their questions. The students began wondering how a train works, how many people can fit on a train and if there is an engineer on all trains. I asked if they would like to learn more about trains and in unison they responded with yes. We developed a few more wonderings and took photos of their train. I borrowed a Duplo train set from Mrs. Lear and now the students are exploring and building train communities together. Now we are reading books about trains, watching shot video clips and discussing trains and how they work.
I recognize not every child is interested in trains so I listened carefully and presented a provocation to the class. We watched this great video of the book titled, Pete the Cat loves his white shoes.
The class loved the video and it generated a great conversation about our own shoes. We discussed the fasteners that were used to keep their shoes on their feet. We discussed the materials that we saw on our shoes. I mentioned that we have new doll clothes but we do not have any doll shoes. Immediately students were calling out, “We can make some!” This began our shoe challenge. Miss Sita and I created a bucket of materials for shoe making. we provided a shoe plan and asked any interested students to create.
Perseverance is a theme we are seeing in both inquiries. Some students gave up after their first attempt at shoe making, others have revisited it over several days. Students at the train center have yet to figure out how to make their track connect into one track. I noticed some students decided to get parts of the track and play on their own because they could not get the track to unify. This week we will work on perseverance and discuss multiple ways of problem solving.
I wonder where these inquiries will take us.